Mole Removal and Control

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Moles are usually classified as a pest species due to their tunneling habit. The most common complaints include the following:

  • "Ridges" from tunnels all over yard
  • Large mole hill piles of dirt
  • Ground feels spongey & looks unsightly
  • General lawn & landscape destruction
For these reasons, many people wish to have this nuisance animal removed from the property. This is usually accomplished with lethal traps - there are no known effective live mole traps.

MOLE BIOLOGY: The Eastern Mole (Scalopus aquaticus) is small, weighing only about 3 oz. and is about 6 inches long. They live for about 2-3 years. They breed in January, and after a 45 day pregnancy, give birth to 2-4 young. The Townsend's Mole (Scapanus townsendii) is larger, at about 5 oz. and 8 inches long. Breeding is similar to other moles. The Star-Nosed Mole (Condylura cristata) is yet another potentially destructive mole species. Read more about Mole biology or the full guide About Moles.

MOLE BEHAVIOR: All moles are subterranean animals - they live under ground - and dig a network of tunnels and chambers. They create surface tunnels and dirt mounds under the chamber areas. Most moles are territorial, so there might just be one in your yard. They primarily eat earthworms, and also other underground larvae and insects.

NUISANCE CONCERNS: It all has to do with the digging. Many people simply don't like the destruction to their lawn and landscaping. A single mole can turn a nice manicured lawn into a mess of tunnels and dirt piles. They wreck your yard.

MOLE DISEASES: No important zoonotic diseases associated with moles.

HOW DO I GET RID OF MOLES? Lethal trapping and removal is the one and only way. Types of mole traps include spear traps, scissor traps, and body clamp traps. These traps are not for amateurs to set. Mole trapping is a subtle art. The traps have to be set jussst riiiight or else they won't work. They have to be set on the active tunnels that the mole is using, not the one-time feeder tunnels. Mole trapping requires experience. I have to point out that there is no such thing as a live catch mole trap. These animals dig underground, and no one has yet developed a trap that can effectively catch them alive underground. Thus, all mole traps currently sold are lethal traps that kill moles. There are three major types of mole traps:
  Spear Traps - These are set on top of an active surface tunnel. Squish the tunnel down, and set the spear trap on top, with a trigger pan against the dirt. When the mole crawls through the tunnel, it will push open the squished down area, and this will push up the trigger pan, causing the spears to slam downward, impaling the mole and killing it.
  Scissor Traps - These traps are set over an active surface tunnel, with the scissor blades in the ground, on each side of the tunnel. When the mole crawls through the tunnel again, it triggers the trap, and the blades snap together, killing the mole.
  Paper Clip Traps - These body clamp traps are actually set down inside the tunnel, often back to back, each facing outward. When the mole crawls through the tunnel as usual, coming from either direction, it will hit a pin holding the paper clip trap open, causing the pin to slip and the trap to slam shut on the mole, killing it.
  Location - Finding the right mole tunnels to set the traps on is imperative. The more active, the better. Straight tunnels, or ones against edges (like a house or sidewalk) are a good bet for repeated use. The branching, winding tunnels that stretch out to nowhere might just be one-time use feeding tunnels, and thus not heavily travelled and not as productive for trapping.  See tips on my how to trap a mole page.

CAN'T I JUST USE A POISON? Many mole poisons are marketed and sold. Although several companies have tried to create mole poisons, none seem to work well. By and large, only trapping will do the trick. There are "poison peanuts", and fake gummy worms with poison, and poison seeds, and all sorts of poison. And yes, it is lethal poison. The problem is that it will NEVER EVER work for actually killing moles, because a mole will never eat poison. Moles eat only live earthworms and grubs and a few insects. They hunt by sound. Mole poisons are a waste of time. Read my mole poison page for more info. A product called Talpirid seemed to have promise, but my repeated and hopeful experience with it wasn't at all good. Moles just won't eat it unless it's moving - alive, wriggling, and smells just right.

CAN'T I JUST USE A REPELLENT? Various mole repellents are sold, such as castor oil spray, or vibrating sound machines, but in my experience and in the experience of many other trappers and homeowners, it simply doesn't work at keeping moles away. It would be nice if it was that easy, but really, you think some spray or sound is going to affect an animal that lives down in the dirt? It's pretty much impossible to harass them down there. For more info, read my mole repellent page.

Mole trapping is an art. It is not at all easy for first-timers. In fact, it's probably the most precise of all animal trapping techniques. This isn't just setting a cage trap and putting some bait inside. Mole traps have to be set on just the right tunnels, and that takes the ability to look at the whole network, and understand how a mole uses it, and which tunnels to set the traps on. And then the traps have to be set extremely precisely in order to work. Luckily, there are hundreds of professionals who I know who have perfected the art in their home town or city. I humbly suggest that you hire a professional nuisance wildlife trapper to help you solve your mole problem.

Click here for a nationwide list of 100's of professional mole trappers serving all 50 states.

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Example Animal Mole Removal Emails:

I have been reading on how to get rid of moles. I live in Western PA and it is November - never thought I'd see moles this time of year. I kept seeing mouse droppings in my garage - so I put out some decon - the wedge container was gone in 2-3 days, so I decided to put out mouse traps. What did I catch a mole. So I set the traps again - caught a mouse. Well in the past week I've caught 1 mouse and 5 miles in my garage. How can I get rid of the moles... I thought they liked the dirt - digging holes - not my cement garage floor. I have stuff stored in my garage and don't want them getting into it like a mouse would. Cindy

Hello my name is Patti. I found your information on the internet. I am currently at the Grove Estates Florida - I am in a 38 ft coach motorhome - and I have never seen the such as these moles ! ! ! I have neighboring campers that are "experts" they say at these cricket moles or moles WHATEVER Are these people telling me the truth? This one mound of dirt beside my motorhome looks like there was a human body buried in my lot over night ! I am really in shock to this, however it all feels like cold sand. I have been told use ammonia, molasses, half of this, half of that - IS THESE PEOPLE FOR REAL? They are all telling me these wild stories of how these graves are coming up in my camp spot - I am not exaggerating when I say graves either. I am from ILLINOIS - are these people telling me the truth or what - PLEASE HELP ! Thank you, Patti

More Mole Removal Tips on How to Get Rid of Moles:

How To Get Rid Of Moles In Your Yard - Moles are small rodents that can cause a lot of damage to your lawn or garden if left unchecked. The good thing is that they will likely stay out of your house, but unfortunately that does not mean off of your property. Your yard, your garden and even your landscaping are potential homes for moles and you should know how to get them out before they wreak havoc on your property. Moles are actually one of the most common types of pests in the country and they are mostly a problem in yards. It is logical that you would find moles mostly in your yard; a yard gives moles a lot of the things it needs to survive. It can provide home and shelter, and it can provide food if there are insects in the ground that it can eat. If you have an infestation of bugs in your yard then it is very likely that it is also the reason you have a mole problem. If you want to get rid of the mole then you have to get it where it lives, underground. Because they are diggers you will probably find mole hills. When you find them you can flood them making sure that you use enough water but not too much that it will damage your yard. You can also use underground fences that will make it more difficult for the mole to move around freely in your yard.

How To Get Rid Of Moles In Your Garden One place where you may find moles is in your garden. Removing a mole from your garden is different than in your yard because you have more vegetation that you have to be careful with. Although flooding is in some instances a good option you should be a lot more careful in your garden. Moles are attracted to the garden because of this vegetation. Vegetation represents more meals because of the plants and the additional bugs that may be present. The best way to remove the moles from your garden is to also remove its sources of food. That does not mean getting rid of your garden; it means you could do some treatments in the soil to kill bugs that would be food for moles, and to also install underground wiring or fences. These are very effective in keeping moles out and with the lack of food there is no reason for the mole to stick around. But in truth, it's hard to kill earthworms, and why would you want to? So a fence around the garden, a steel mesh, either quarter inch or half inch, one that goes at least 24 inches underground, is the best bet.

How To Get Rid Of Moles Naturally - Because you do not want to damage your lawn or your garden you will want to use natural methods that will not cause damage to your vegetation. There are some chemicals that are available, but you run the risk that they will not only get rid of the mole, but also of your plants. You have to be careful however even when using natural solutions like water. Too much water can damage your garden as much, if not more than some chemicals. The lesson is that just because it is a natural solution it does not mean that they will never be damaging. Some people will use moth balls in the soil, and they are always ineffective in removing the mole from your garden. You have to keep in mind however that some beneficial organisms that live in the ground may be damaged by using moth balls so use with caution. It is not difficult to remove moles, but the easiest way as it is with most wildlife is to use traps. They can be placed in the mole tunnells and will show you the quickest results.

How To Get Rid Of Moles In Your House - Although it is rare, a mole will on occasion be found in a house, garage, shed, or elsewhere. When something like this happens you can count it as a blessing because it is probably the best place that it can be for easy removal. You can just grab the animal. As long as you know where the mole came in from you will be able to seal the hole and prevent them from getting in. There are a couple of key factors when trapping a mole and removing it. You’ll want to make sure to handle the traps with care so they aren’t carrying your scent and to check them often. If you grab the mole by hand, be sure to wear gloves during mole removal, as these animals can pack a nasty bite. If you do get one live, the important part will be to find a suitable place to relocate the animal to, at least a mile away. If you're setting traps by the tunnels leading to the house, as usual you’ll want to make sure to place your traps in their path. The truth is that moles in a home or any building is rare. Sometimes the cat just dragged it in!

Prevention tips: How to keep moles away

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